Your most important questions answered
Why choose Etnikas?
At Etnikas we use a variety of shamanic techniques. Our methods involve the use of philosophy of the Inca religion, priests and shamans from different parts of Peru. With over 30 years’ experience studying and serving Inca ceremonies with Ayahuasca, we have found a method that focuses on bringing about strong spiritual, mental and physical change, allowing you to begin a new life. We work in a compassionate and loving environment in which healing and personal growth are prioritized.
When making an extreme life change, authenticity is invaluable. The healers we work with come from families with traditions of shamanism. The Shipibo shaman we work with are specialists in ayahuasca using centuries-old traditions and techniques. The Q’ero priests, are the direct descendant of the Incas. They bring a variety of talents, performing cleansing ceremonies as well as offerings to the mother earth (or Pachamama). Peru has a long standing tradition of priest and shaman healers. It’s because of this reason modern medicine came into the culture later on and has continued to be mixed with natural healing techniques.
Using modern medicine in our retreats ensures your safety. Etnikas has a multi-disciplinary health team consisting of a cardiologist, psychiatrist, psychologist, general practitioner, emergency nurse who complement the highly experienced native Andean and Amazonian shaman. A doctor is on site 24 hours a day during retreats and a nurse in the Ayahuasca ceremony with access to a full range of state of the art emergency medical equipment. We take time and care in reviewing all medical information before your visit to our retreat center. Our retreat is the only center to have been recognized by the Peruvian Ministry of Health for its method in performing safe Ayahuasca ceremonies.
Located in the Sacred Valley, two hours drive from Machupicchu, your trip here will be filled with stunning views from within the Andes mountain range. Our center is in Taray, a quiet rural community, perfect for meditation, yoga or simply relaxing. Here you will have a break from technology, buzz of the cities and time to reflect, stargaze and be awed by the nature surrounding you.
Focusing on social benefit: Etnikas has become a destination for those wishing to make great strides in changing their lives with every ayahuasca ceremony. Our aim is to create that awareness, to connect and share through taking actions that benefit the community. To create a chain with spiritual, mental, physical, social, environmental and sustainable healing. To be an Integrative Healing Clinic with a focus on social work efforts.
Another reason to choose our retreat, is our excellent standing on TripAdvisor. Here you can see reviews of satisfied clients. We are so happy to have impacted the lives of so many people and helped create positive change in their lives. If you are ready to take the next step, read some of our great reviews or contact us with any concerns.
Cusco is one of the energetic centers of the world. The name Cusco means ‘belly button,’ referring to the region’s central importance relative to the origin of spiritual awakening. The culture of this city has been built around a philosophy centered on respecting puchamuma or mother earth. Perhaps in these times, more than ever before, this concept of respect finds itself both relevant and necessary in addressing some of the global issues facing humanity.
How do I get to Cusco?
To fly into Cusco, you must first obtain a flight from your country to Lima, Peru. From Lima there are connections to Cusco from 5am to 12am (the flight is one hour long). Connections from Lima to Cusco range anywhere from 200 to 350 dollars. Some of the airlines flying to Cusco are Lan, Star Peru, Tacna and Peruvian Airlines.
What are my arrival and accommodation options?
It is necessary to arrive one day before your retreat begins. This not only in case of travel delays, but because you will need to take the purgative medicinal water. It is a two hour process overseen by our nursing staff. The time of the day will be coordinated with our staff prior to your arrival, for your convenience and at an agreed upon location.
You may not eat 3-4 hours before taking the medicinal water. After the purge, you are able to eat according to dietary restrictions provided in the categories below.
The night you arrive you must book your own hotel. We have a few recommendations below (they arrange transfer from the airport to the hotel).
We meet at an agreed upon place within walking distance from your hotel the next day at 9:30. From there we travel by shuttle bus to the retreat center.
The place below are 5-10 minutes walk to the water place and 15 minutes from the airport.
We recommend you this places that are close to the water place, Pirwa and Inkari is a good one if you looking for backpacking but if you look some hotels Awkis dream, casa andina and Tierra viva are the ones. You can arrange with any of them transfer from the airport to the hotel, just need to confirm them.
Hostal Inkari : http://www.inkarrihostal.com
Hostal Pirwa San Blas : http://www.pirwahostelscusco.com/es/hostal-san-blas-cusco.html
Hotel Awki Dreams : http://www.awkisdreamhotel.com/es/index.php
Hotel Casa Andina San Blas : http://www.casa-andina.com/destinos/cusco/
Hotel Tierra Viva San Blas : http://tierravivahoteles.com/es/tierra-viva-cusco-san-blas/
How is the weather and what do I need to bring?
We sit at 2,800 m. (9,500 ft high), meaning the air is usually cool and dry during the night and sunny during the day. You can check weather.com for an accurate 10-day forecast for your ayahuasca retreat.
The rainy season is typically from December through March. The dry season runs from end of March to November. However, the weather can be very unpredictable, so it is always useful to have a rain jacket on you.
Comfortable shoes are essential in our rough terrain. Bring warm clothes for the evenings, as it is chilly and bring a hat and/or sunblock for during the day. A rain poncho is essential if you’re coming in the rainy season (Dec – Mar). Bringing a notebook or journal with you might be useful as well for recording your thoughts and helping with your integration. We do not provide toiletries so please bring your own. It also can’t hurt to bring a camera!
Bring a small flashlight (optional) and your yoga mat (optional).
Electrolyte water can be bought here as a way to re-hydrate after ceremony. You will also need 1 bottle of water (2L) and 1 roll of toilet paper per ceremony. The toilet paper is for the ayahuasca ceremonies. We provide it in the retreat center.
I take medication, is this ok with the ayahuasca ceremonies?
Some kinds of medication are compatible. However others, such as antidepressant medication, can be problematic. Make sure to inform us of what medication you are taking and we will consult with our doctor.
I have a special diet, can I still come?
Yes, please inform us in advance of your dietary restrictions and we will assist you.
If you have any physical or psychological medical conditions or are under any medication treatment, please let us know before you book.
Do not consume illicit drugs, alcohol, coffee or chocolate for two weeks prior to your ayahuasca ceremony. Avoid canned food, red meat and pork, cold cuts, spicy food and excessive salt and sugar. Do not take any medical prescription (natural or otherwise), drugs, antibiotics, injections, pills, supplement, vitamins or others. No food or beverages that have artificial colors flavors or preservatives.
During your stay at Etnikas, we remind you that it’s not permitted to smoke, drink alcohol or to take any type of prescription or non-prescription drugs without consulting us.
Food: Eat well. Good organic food is recommended. In terms of meat, you can consume chicken or fish. To strengthen the brain, we recommend eating ceviche (Peruvian food) and ask for tiger’s milk/leche de tigre (both without spicy sin aji) – this is a concentrate juice of the ceviche.
Other: It’s recommended that you refrain from have sex or masturbating a day before the retreat as it can reduce physical energy levels, making it harder to cope with the effects of ayahuasca.
It is suggested that the women who are menstruating or pregnant abstain from participating. Period pain and discomfort may result in a negative experience while journeying with ayahuasca. However, if you do not experience sever pain or discomfort then it’s okay for you partake.
We recommend waiting till the second or third day of a period to allow you to gauge the intensity of the pain.
Visiting Machu Picchu
We recommend you this local travel operator travelandhealing.com/Machu Picchu they are familiar with our schedule so they can organise the trip to Machu Picchu just after your retreat. Pick up from our retreat to take you to Machu Picchu.
I have never been at that high of an altitude. How likely am I to get altitude sickness?
Cusco is 3, 500 meters above sea level and people sometimes get sick upon arrival due to the drastic altitude change . However, prior to your retreat we recommend that you do not take any kind of medication for altitude sickness as its interaction with ayahuasca can be dangerous. Instead, we suggest drinking cocoa leaf tea and lots of water as a way to relieve symptoms of altitude sickness before arriving. The tea is commonly available in guest houses and hotels. If your altitude sickness symptoms become severe, please let us know.
We are not considered a tropical location and therefore no vaccines are required before visiting Cusco. If you still have questions, it’s best to consult a travel doctor in your country before visiting.